james debate
james debate

Sunday 19 May 2024

Another Premier League campaign in the history books and it was... basically what we expected. Manchester City did claim a record breaking fourth consecutive title, but were unexpectedly pressed until the last day by an impressive Arsenal title charge. At the foot of the table, no mercy for the newcomers, as all three newly promoted clubs received their marching orders, a stark reminder of the massive step up that the Premier League requires.

premier league 2023 2024 manchester city champions

Is the Premier League becoming predictable? If the fact that I'm lazily reusing the same image as last year is any indication, yes a little. The league is waiting for a club to come along that can step up to challenge City, and while Arsenal have given it a go, the lack of credible competition from the club's biggest clubs such as Liverpool, Manchester United and Chelsea has made it all too easy for Pep's boys in recent seasons. Liverpool, City's main title rivals of late, have the air of a club in stagnation, and while Jurgen Klopp will be missed, there is also a sense that a little fresh impetus may be required. Manchester United, for all the hype, have suffered yet another false dawn, and the glory days are looking far away indeed. Of City's potential rivals, arguably Chelsea look the club with the clearest upwards trajectory, but the Blues have struggled for consistency and fitness, their 6th place finish making clear that they are still some way off challenging at the top of the table.

Outside of the title race, Unai Emery continues to impress, improving upon Aston Villa's already impressive 7th place the previous year with a remarkable top four finish that will see the Birmingham club return to the Champions League for the first time since 1983. Newcastle failed to live up to their pre-season hype, with a solid season that nevertheless did not deliver the kind of progress their wealthy owners would have hoped - the disastrous £60million signing of Sandro Tonali, who would go on to miss the entire season following a ban for gambling, certainly didn't help.

As for the Premier League team of the season, predictably good showing from Manchester City and Arsenal. Jordan Pickford gets my nod for best goalkeeper. While Raya may have slightly better statistics, he also has a far better defence. The fact that Pickford even comes close is, for me, the more impressive accomplishment. Given Aston Villa's remarkable season, it was a very difficult decision not to include Ollie Watkins, but at the end of the day Erling Haaland is still the league's top scorer by some distance. It's remarkable that a 27 goal season is being viewed by some pundits as a disappointment!

Now let's get to some awards and the team of the season:

The Ephemeric Premier League Awards 2024:

Winners: Manchester City 

Relegated: Luton Town, Burnley, Sheffield United

Player of the Year: Phil Foden (Manchester City)

U-21 Player of the Year: Cole Palmer (Chelsea)

Best Goalkeeper: Jordan Pickford (Everton)

Top Scorer: Erling Haaland (Manchester City) (27)

Most Assists: Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa) (13) 

Manager of the Year: Unai Emery (Aston Villa)

Best signing of the season: Cole Palmer (Chelsea)

Worst signing of the season: Sandro Tonali (Newcastle United)

The Ephemeric Premier League Team of the Season 2024:

english epl bpl premier league best team xi of the season 2023
So there we have it, another season of Premier League football gone by. We'll see you again next season!

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